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San Anton albergue (Castrojeriz) closes till further notice

Bradypus

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Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
The group running the albergue in the ruins of the San Anton monastery near Castrojeriz have announced that the albergue and the ruins will be closed from 1 May until the ruins have been made safe. An indefinite period. Thanks to Paul Garland for pointing out the news.

 
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The group running the albergue in the ruins of the San Anton monastery near Castrojeriz have announced that the albergue and the ruins will be closed from 1 May until the ruins have been made safe. An indefinite period. Thanks to Paul Garland for pointing out the news.

Thank you for posting. Special place. Hope they are able to make it safe again someday soon.
 
Like I said - a shame. Some of my friends were really looking forward the visit (especially since I told them of the place)
Well... lets hope that Camino will Provide and the 'further notice' wont be too long in forthcoming!
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
that's too bad, i was there roughly a week ago and the albergue and the ruins were open.
 
Hmnn...I think the secondary road runs right through there so guess they will have to build a detour somehow.
My memories are similar - that is the main road from Hontanas to Castrojeriz so I doubt " it" will be closed. Any further update Brad?? Cheers
 
My memories are similar - that is the main road from Hontanas to Castrojeriz so I doubt " it" will be closed. Any further update Brad?? Cheers
Part of the text is an argument for stopping or limiting traffic through the arches. As I understand it the closure will not prevent people walking on the road but will stop them entering the enclosed areas of the ruins and the albergue. The section of the text through Google Translate:
Screenshot_20240429-230930~2.png
 
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What a shame for this most magical place, which was made more beautiful by the very fact it is just so basic and rustic. I hope it does not become a place where there is more metal girders propping everything up for health and safety reasons as that would really undermine the charm of this special place.

It really does seem from the article that the problem is the traffic under the archway and obviously right next to the ruins. It's no surprise that heavy lorries and buses are causing such problems, and diverting the road for vehicles is really the only practical solution.
 
This article (see below) from January 2022 has further information about the issues of the structure of the San Antón buildings near Castrojeriz and about a long-standing request to the regional authorities to have the public road changed so that heavy traffic such as lorries, cars, tractors and school buses no longer pass through the arch; this would be possible even if it requires some expropriation of land, according to the article.

Some repair work and consolidation work was done in 2021/2022 following an accident when a random loose stone fell on a school bus, luckily without hurting the passengers in the bus.

The site with the San Antón building was privately owned for a long time by a local farmer (?) and, since a few years ago, it is now owned by a non-profit organisation.

 
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Below is the link to the website of the foundation that owns San Antón. Background, history of the pilgrim albergue, and bank account numbers for donations for maintenance of the pilgrim albergue and for consolidation, restoration and maintenance of the ruins.

The pilgrim albergue exists since 2002.

 
Is there a site like go fund me where I can donate? If the grant situation is like the one in the US, they may need and want matching funds.
 
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I don't think it's immediately a case of donations to the order, but more the need for the regional council to step in to divert the road.

However, as per the post above yours, there are details for you to donate on their website if you wish. But I don't think there is a matched giving scheme as such in Spain.
 
I remember noticing some substantial structural layout changes were made between my stays in 2016 and 2023, I don't know or remember exactly... some demolition, the layout of part of the perimeter walls, the relocation of the entrance etc? I wonder if any of it contributed to the overall instability that they're concerned about now, or is the opposite case, was it done to stabilise the structure?
 
As far as I read it is protected under several acts.
So it's part of the job of the local government with the help of funds of the central government and the EU to secure the building and to built security rails to prevent injuring passing pilgrims.

Time will tell.
 
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So it's part of the job of the local government with the help of funds of the central government and the EU to secure the building and to built security rails to prevent injuring passing pilgrims.
Are you certain of this? My uninformed understanding, based on reading a few articles about it, is that it is the fact that it is private property which makes obtaining public funds more difficult.

For example:

According to this, there was excitement and great expectations when it became known that the administration would invest €800,000 for measures to consolidate and maintain the ruins of the convent of San Antón in Castrojeriz in the context of a Plan Nacional Turístico Xacobeo 2021-2022. Shortly afterwards, the disappointment was equally great when it turned out that they would not get a cent because al tratarse de un inmueble de propiedad privada, mientras que las ayudas concedidas por el Estado dentro de ese programa están destinadas a actuaciones al patrimonio de titularidad pública - this kind of public money was only for publicly owned patrimony and not for privately owned property.

It seems that it is not even specifically protected (as a site in its own right):
 
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According to this, there was excitement and great expectations when it became known that the administration would invest €800,000 for measures to consolidate and maintain the ruins of the convent of San Antón in Castrojeriz in the context of a Plan Nacional Turístico Xacobeo 2021-2022. Shortly afterwards, the disappointment was equally great when it turned out that they would not get a cent because al tratarse de un inmueble de propiedad privada, mientras que las ayudas concedidas por el Estado dentro de ese programa están destinadas a actuaciones al patrimonio de titularidad pública - this kind of public money was only for publicly owned patrimony and not for privately owned property.
Sometimes it needs a little push into the right direction. The closing could be the best they can do to force action. Hope so.
That landmark should be saved under all circumstances!
 
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What luck to have stayed in this magical place two nights ago. One of the best albergues on the Camino and therefore one of the best places anywhere on earth.

Closures are becoming a big problem. To my knowledge Emmaus in Burgos, Luz de Fromista and now San Anton are closed sine die. There are probably more I don't know about

If it wasn't for the Trojan work of hospitaleros the associations and albergue organisers like Rebekah Scott things would be even worse. Why is it always the best that go?
 
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If it wasn't for the Trojan work of hospitaleros the associations and albergue organisers like Rebekah Scott things would be even worse. Why is it always the best that go?
Money?
Commercial interests?
The tidal wave of 21st C pilgrims using suitcase transfer and wanting plush reservable lodgings with wifi?
I don't know.

But in this specific case, it sounds like it's just a crumbling ruin that badly needs to be stabilized.

(I hear and echo your crie de coeur. The posts here on the Forum recently have been depressing. But time only goes in one direction and we have to roll with it.)
 
Don't dispair, there is still the quiet undercurrent of traditional albergues for traditional pilgrims out here. There are still some traditional hospitality albergues out there and just this year a few were added to the list of albergues where we volunteer. It is just a different way of doing the Camino that some of us really treasure and others of us will never really know or understand. Before Hontannas there is San Bol (looks like they do take reservations now) and further past Castrojerez San Nicolas and a number a of other wonderful places (private and municipal) all along the meseta. I am sad about San Anton, but we don't want to "love it to death" with use if it needs repairs.
 
According to the hospitaleros a stone fell from the arch onto the roof of a bus. Shame to close the whole place down, but that's local bureaucracy, no friends at heart of donativo hostels in any case. But there will always be such places, they are the Camino imo.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I spent some time there in 2013 although not overnight. My thoughts even then were that even though it is a lovely place, it IS a crumbling ruin. It was a little disconcerting at the time. A piece fell on a bus? Good thing it wasn't a pilgrim!!!
 
If the road cannot be completely re-routied, IMHO they should "re-work" it in such way that right before the said arch it becomes a reasonably sharp S-curve. anything over say 25km/h obviously would be a suicide to begin with
 
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Thank you for the link, @jungleboy. The thread has not only information about the accident with the school bus/van but also about renovation work during the last few decades and lack thereof. And I had remembered it correctly:

“Surprisingly for a Camino landmark, San Anton was never listed as a Bien Interesa Cultural (BIC), a historic monument -- so it doesn't enjoy special protections under national or regional patrimony law.”​
 
Is there a site like go fund me where I can donate? If the grant situation is like the one in the US, they may need and want matching funds.
This is an issue for me too. From Australia, my bank will not transfer smaller amounts, and unless there is another method available to make smaller donations, I won't.

I have emailed Ovidio Campo, the President of the Fundación San Antón, asking if they are considering establishing other fundraising avenues. We'll see.
 
I LOVE San Antón! I have stayed there as a pilgrim and was a hospitalero last summer and had hoped to be there this summer. I understand the reasoning and think that Ovidio, while making what must have been a hard decision, is doing the right thing. He must be heartbroken. I am hoping that we can help out. I also hope that there could be significant funding from Spanish sources. While there as a hospi I frequently had buses of people stopping by to see and learn about San Antón, it's history, etc. It is a magical place!
 
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one of my favorite days in 2017 was drinking cafe con leche with Angel in the cafe there
 
An article posted on a Facebook group today. It seems that helmets are being provided for the 30m walk underneath the arches at San Anton. My cynical side thinks that is probably more for publicity purposes than strictly practical ones.

San-Anton-cascos-696x928.jpg

 
My cynical side thinks that is probably more for publicity purposes than strictly practical ones.
My rational side thinks that the photo is a gimmick and the headline is attention-seeking.

The arch had been subject to consolidation work by a specialised company when a piece of masonry hit a school van that was driving through the arch at the same time. Nothing of this sort of repair work was done for the walls inside the perimeter (lack of funds), and that is the area that is now closed to the public. The sign on the right where pedestrians walk through the arch merely says: Danger, Rockfall hazard. It is a standard road sign and has been there for a while.

The sign that says "Use of hard hats obligatory" is new and refers to the area inside and to the side of the arch. It is now closed off to the public and peregrin@s can't walk there at all.
 
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It is a standard road sign and has been there for a while.
I was looking for a photo that showed this when I noticed that some embellishment work or other had been done to the site a year ago or so. But that is aesthetics and not structural.

San Anton.jpg
 
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The group running the albergue in the ruins of the San Anton monastery near Castrojeriz have announced that the albergue and the ruins will be closed from 1 May until the ruins have been made safe. An indefinite period. Thanks to Paul Garland for pointing out the news.

I heard this news from a friend on the Camino now. She was one of the last pilgrims allowed to stay there. It's sad to see it close.
 
It’s not the same as being open as an albergue, BUT there is a donativo stand being operated at the site currently. It’s off to the side of the roadway and in what was the entryway to the accommodation. It allows pilgrims to still see inside the ruins without getting into the danger zone.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
<<<< That's me on my first Camino on 02/05/2014.
 
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The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.

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